Ohio History Journal

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Book Reviews

Book Reviews

 

 

 

The Adena People No. 2. By William S. Webb and Raymond S. Baby,

with chapters by Charles E. Snow and Robert M. Goslin. (Columbus:

Ohio State University Press for the Ohio Historical Society, 1957.

xi~123p.; illustrations, map, chart, tables, bibliography, and index.

Paper, $3.00.)

This attractive, well organized, and well executed volume summarizes

the current views of the authors concerning the Adena people and their

culture in the Ohio Valley. Data from forty-nine new Adena sites, for

the most part unpublished, have been integrated with data previously pub-

lished by Webb and Snow in The Adena People (University of Kentucky,

1945). In addition to twenty-five new traits there is a reevaluation of a

number of the earlier recognized ones.

Important new information is given on the perishable content of the

Adena culture, such as moccasins, textiles, and the use of the cradleboard,

long suspected as the instrument responsible for the major deformation

seen on Adena skulls. Recently it has been concluded that the material

from the lower level of a number of dry rock shelters in eastern Kentucky,

which included these organic remains, was of Adena provenance, as in-

dicated by "direct association with known Adena artifacts" (p. 34).

Mr. Goslin's instructive chapter on Adena foods is based upon an

analysis of animal and vegetable residues from twenty-three mound sites in

Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and West Virginia, and from ten Kentucky rock

shelters. Evidence of agricultural foods is very limited, both in quantity

and kind, consisting of rind fragments of squash or pumpkin from the

Florence and Cowan Creek mounds in Ohio, and of squash and sunflower

vestiges found in the Newt Kash Hollow shelter in Kentucky. The two

mound sites, which produced datable features directly associated with the

plant remains, are of the late horizon of the culture. The dates are

1425 250 and 1509 250 years ago, respectively. Mr. Goslin, however,

believes it probable "that the Adena People engaged in agriculture in